Webber halts Pilgrims' rise

Watford 3 - Plymouth Argyle 1

If there is one thing that all honeymoons have in common it is they inevitably come to an end and we all return to reality.

If there is one thing that all honeymoons have in common it is they inevitably come to an end and we all return to reality.

That truth was etched on the faces of the Plymouth players as they trudged from the pitch at Vicarage Road, having sampled something they have become rather unaccustomed to in recent times, the bitter taste of comprehensive defeat.

Only time will tell if the end of the Pilgrims' dream start to the Championship, which yielded 10 points from four games, will see them slip down into that mid-table scrap for consolidation or whether it will prove a mere blip on the road to greater glories.

One thing is certain, however, and that is that Bobby Williamson's side, who had reached such heights that fans were suffering vertigo, now know that if maybe not quite the big, then they are certainly now mixing it with the bigger boys.

It would be foolish, though, to write off Plymouth after one reverse as this is a team who have grown used to success after two championships in three seasons.

And if truth be told that success could so easily have been added to on Saturday if Graham Coughlan and Lee Hodges had not just rattled the woodwork either side of Mickey Evans giving the visitors an early advantage.

One goal does not shut out a game, however, and the Pilgrims may just be starting to realise that in the Championship teams will not just weather the storm front arriving from the South-west, they will get back on their feet, dust themselves down and come back fighting.

Indeed, it says much for the resilience of Ray Lewington's team that they refused to be intimidated, stood firm and then stunned the visitors, firstly with Neal Ardley's close-range volley just after the half-hour mark and then Danny Webber's coolly taken goals after the interval.

The result may not have done enough to change Lewington's opinion that it would be "remarkable" if Plymouth were still challenging come May, but even if they do not make the big end-of-season bash their adventures so far have shown that the upstarts from the South-west will still spoil a few parties this term.

Goals: Evans (18) 0-1; Ardley (33) 1-1; Webber (46) 2-1; Webber (58) 3-1.

Watford (4-4-1-1): Lee; Chambers, Cox, Dyche, Mayo; Ardley, Gunnarsson (Young, 89), Mahon, Devlin; Webber (Dyer, 85); Helguson. Substitutes not used: Chamberlain, Doyley, Bouazza.

Plymouth Argyle (4-4-2): McCormick; Worrell, Wotton, Coughlan, Gilbert; Hodges (Makel, 73), Friio, Norris, Capaldi (Lasley, 84); Crawford, Evans (Keith, 70). Substitutes not used: Adams, Milne.

Referee: E Evans (Lancashire).

Booked: Watford: Chambers, Mayo. Plymouth: Coughlan, Evans, McCormick.

Attendance: 13,104.

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